How bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad prepared Indian team for bowl-out during 2007 T20I World Cup
India squared off against Pakistan in a group stage match, which ended in a tie, and had to be decided via a bowl-out. With Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, and Harbhajan Singh hitting the stumps, India easily won the bowl-out and won the match.Updated: Aug 14, 2020, 08:44 IST
India batsman Robin Uthappa, in a recent interaction, recalled how former India bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad prepared the Indian cricket team for a bowl-out scenario during the 2007 T20I World Cup. India squared off against Pakistan in a group stage match, which ended in a tie, and had to be decided via a bowl-out. With Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, and Harbhajan Singh hitting the stumps, India easily won the bowl-out and won the match.
Speaking on Star Sports’ special episode of Cricket Connected chat show named ‘Watch Along of the 2007 ICC World T20 between India and Pakistan’, Uthappa recalled how Venkatesh Prasad would make the players practice bowl-out instead of playing football during training sessions.
“Before every practice, we used to play a game after warm-up, so what Venky (Venkatesh Prasad) did was instead of playing football, he said let’s play bowl out (batsman vs bowlers). Among the batsmen, Sehwag, Rohit, and me (Robin) used to get a hit very often,” Uthappa recalled.
“So, when this match (10th Match, ICC World Twenty20 at Durban, Group D) got tied, we were very excited and jubilant to be very honest because it was a match we almost lost and we managed to tie it. If you go and look at the game, it was a losing game, Sreesanth bowled really well and we tied the game,” he recalled the match against Pakistan.
Uthappa went on to credit MS Dhoni for giving him a chance to hit the stumps when he asked for it. “Once we tied the game, emotions were very high and so was our confidence. I have to give credit to MS Dhoni at that point in time.
“At a very young age in his first tournament and his first game as captain, a guy went up to him, his teammate went up to him saying, who is a non-bowler and is not his main skill, went up to him and said ‘I have to bowl and I’m going to hit the stumps’ and I swear he (Dhoni) didn’t even bat an eyelid and said ‘ok bowl’,” Uthappa further said.
India went on to win the 2007 T20 World Cup after defeating Pakistan in a nail-biting final.